July 26th, 2011

Unplugging from Internet makes people feel lonely, upset--at least, for many

Los Angele Times

If the thought of a day without the Internet — with no smart phone as a backup — elicits fear, anger or pain, you’re not alone. A poll from the United Kingdom found that about half of the people surveyed said that they’d feel “upset” if deprived of the Internet for a short amount of time.

And about 40% of the more than 1,000 people ages 18 to over 65 surveyed said they’d feel “lonely” if they had to go a day without an Internet connection, according to a July 22 news release from the consumer research firm Intersperience.

Some participants tried a one-day Internet deprivation challenge — and one said it was “like having my hand chopped off.”

Mere dramatics or legitimate withdrawal? It’s hard to tell to what extent Internet addiction is a problem, researchers have said, because few studies have been done on the topic — at least, few high-quality studies that can be compared against each other to find trends, according to an analysis in May.

It doesn’t take a randomized controlled study to know that the alluring sound of an incoming text message can be hard to resist.

Not by everyone, though. In the recent poll, 23% said the prospect of a day without the Internet made them feel “free.”

A thought to meditate on, perhaps.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-internet-addiction-20110725,0,5270637.story?track=rss

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